Alchornea comoensis Beille
Alchornea duparquetiana Baill.
Alchornea floribunda glabrata Müll.Arg.
Alchornea glabrata (Müll.Arg.) Prain
Alchornea hirtella is a spindly, climbing to straggling shrub or small tree that can grow up to 9 metres, sometimes even to 12 metres tall[
]. The plant occasionally develops into a much-branched tree up to 15 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, also supplying material for basket making, plant supports and construction.
Tropical Africa - Senegal to Uganda and Kenya, south to Angola, Zambia, Mozambique and S. Africa.
The spray zone of waterfalls; often gregarious in the understorey of evergreen forest; it is also found in secondary forest and riverine forest; sometimes also in associated bushland; at elevations from 400 - 2,500 metres[
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A fast growing plant[
This species is usually dioecious, in which case both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
A decoction of the aerial parts is taken to treat ovarian trouble and gastro-intestinal afflictions[
]. An infusion of the leaves and stem pith is taken as an anti-cough agent and is locally applied as an antiseptic[
]. The leaves are chewed to treat toothache, and the leaf sap is swallowed to treat diarrhoea[
The dried and powdered leaves, soaked in water, are applied as a poultice to heal broken limbs[
]. The leaf sap is inhaled through the nose or applied to scarifications on the temples to treat headache[
An infusion of the inflorescences is taken to expel worms[
Bark scrapings, ground with white lime, are applied to treat river blindness[
A root decoction is taken as a sedative to treat pain; the sap is also topically applied[
]. The decoction is also used as a purgative and to treat stomach-ache. Root scrapings are chewed to treat tiredness after intoxication[
The dried root bark yields 1.5 mg/g crude alkaloids and the dried stem bark 0.15 mg/g, both with the imidazopyrimidine alkaloid alchorneine as major component[
]. Alchorneine causes parasympathic paralysis of autonomous ganglions because of its strong inhibition of both the vagus nerve and intestinal peristalsis[
This species is one of the most favoured sources of bean stakes[
]. The stakes quickly form roots[
A branch split in 2 or 3 is used as a rim in basketry[
The branches are used in house construction[
Sometimes the wood is used as firewood[
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